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Cambridge Science Festival: Youngsters Find New Uses for City's Latest Inventions

Cambridge Science Festival

Innovation competition called i-Teams for schoolchildren as part of Cambridge Science Festival. April 2014.

Published: 11th April 2014.

Could moss be used to power fairy lights? Or could pigs reach their food through a cat flap?

These were some of the novel ideas dreamt up by schoolchildren for new inventions at Cambridge University’s Institute of Manufacturing as part of the city’s science festival.

Youngsters were given demonstrations of recent scientific innovations and were then asked to submit ideas about how they could be used in real life.

Among the winners were Mackenzie Donaldson, 7, from Hemingford Grey Primary School, who suggested using electricity generated from moss to power garden lights and fairy lights.

Scientists have already produced a moss-powered radio to demonstrate the technologies potential.

Lucy Quinn, 7, from Histon & Impington Infant School, wanted to use cat flaps which identify animals using microchip ID tags to let pigs reach their food.

Grace Hartley, 13, from Bottisham Village College, wanted to use novel laser inks called Illumink to create plastic sheets which would prevent birds from flying into glass windows.

The fourth and final winner was Michael Gilliland, who wanted to use a super-accurate timer created by Qumet Technologies to test very small nanotechnology designs.

There were three runners-up, including Oliver Wilkinson, who suggested using an interactive projector which turns any surface into a touchscreen for restaurant menus.

Organiser Amy Weatherup, said: “This is the fourth year of our competition and the busiest year yet. We had nearly 100 wonderfully imaginative entries, and we very much enjoyed reading through them.”

Source: Cambridge Evening News 


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